Moving to Paris? 7 Steps to prepare your Relocation!
When you decide to move away from your home country where everything is familiar, you speak the language, you understand the system and know the” secret codes” of society, it could be a bit scary but also probably the biggest adventure of your life. Relocating to a new city such as Paris does not have to be as daunting as it seems. We at Time4UNow understand all the complications and challenges having done it ourselves. We hope these 7 Steps to Prepare your Relocation will make the path to integration slightly less bumpy!
You might picture yourself jumping on the next flight to the City of Lights just like ‘Emily in Paris’, and start your new Parisian life, but moving to a new country does require some preparation and you will save yourself some time and headaches by planning ahead.
Photo via Marjorie Preval
Step 1 Research living area
The first step is to define where you want to live based on the criteria that’s important to you. This is where help from a relocation company such as Time4unow can be invaluable. Specially in COVID times, it is hard to visit and check out all the neighbourhoods in person so you may want our input. Although the internet is a fantastic source of information, sometimes, it doesn’t paint the whole picture.
Step 2 Choose a Moving Company
When planning your relocation to another country it is important to choose a solid and serious moving company who is experienced and can help you organise this important first step. Time4UNow offers free quotes from our well reputed International moving partners.
Step 3 Finding your Rental Apartment or House
Once you have an idea of where you want to live, the house search can begin! You can do this online through sites such as www.seloger.com which is one of the most common ones. Each owner lists their apartments through individual agencies so you will need to contact many different agencies in your selected area to see what is listed. A relocation service company such as ours can conduct the search on your behalf and can sometimes present properties that are not yet on the market.
Renting in Paris can be more difficult than you can imagine. The landlords/Landladies are a tough bunch to please. You need to have a solid application file in order to rent a property. This is of course something we can help you put together so that your application is as strong as possible.
Step 4 Join local expat network groups
Nowadays, with all the social media platforms available, networking is really easy. Search for Expats groups on Facebook, for tips and advice. For example, Expatriates in Paris or Ouest2Paris. These groups not only are great sources of information, but they are also a fantastic community and a platform to meet a wonderful variety of nationalities who are living the same experience as you are about to embark on.
Photo via Paris in Four Months
Step 5 Find out about administrative procedures
Procedures such as opening a bank account, registering with the social security system, or find out how the French visa procedure is handled can be difficult, so it is good to do some research beforehand. Nevertheless, Time4UNow can take care of all the admin procedures for you if you find it to be too challenging, which most people do when it comes to French bureaucracy.
A handy tip: Put all your official paperwork such as copies of your passport, bank statements, health insurance, etc. in one box before you move so that you have it at your fingertips when asked. They will always ask!
Handy tip two: You will need to open a French Bank account before you can rent an apartment
Step 6 Use your contacts
We live in an ever-increasingly globalized world, so there is no doubt that you know a friend of a friend or a niece of a neighbour who might live in the city you are going to settle into! Even if you hardly know the person in question, it is always worth trying to establish contact because who doesn't love to act as a tour guide or share their secrets about the city they have happily settled into? We assume you already use social media in your everyday life in your current location, so we suggest you reach out to your contacts on Facebook, Linkedin etc.
Step 7 Do some social research
If you relocate with children, it is often easier to get involved and make friends in a new place since the international schools most often have parent welcoming groups and social events to welcome the new families. The International Schools such as Lycée International in St Germain en Laye, The American School of Paris in St Cloud, the British School of Paris in Croissy sur Seine or the Montessori School in St Nom la Breteche, all have well established organisations to make all new families feel welcome and included. If you come without children Paris offers all kinds of opportunities for mingling. Many countries have their own social clubs if you feel like getting to know fellow countrymen in your new hometown. For example, the AAWE, BCWA, le Cercle Suédois etc., If not you have after work places, sport venues or clubs or different activity clubs that you can always join and last but not the least, the Paris night life (Pre- Covid but it will come back)!…the list goes on and you just have to do some research about your area and interests before you move.
Time4UNow is always by your side ready to step in and give you a helping hand should you need it! Just give us a holler!